ANINERGY

365 ways to energize – a daily companion to living with health, purpose, and joy


Leave a comment

Today I said my final goodbye …

Day 194

…and I did not shed a tear…

…as I handed over the keys to the house that our family have lived in for the past eleven years. We finished another chapter, ready to turn the page and begin anew.

I was not emotional as I said my goodbyes. For a moment I wondered why… In the past, I have been very emotional, often with big crocodile tears rolling down my cheeks! I realized that this time I felt different, because I knew that this day had been coming for more than a year.

I therefore prepared myself by soaking up for the last time the gorgeous surrounding that I have had the fortune to experience. Every season I knew would be the last with all that it had to offer and I have experienced it in its entirety.

I have seen my surroundings with new eyes and have been much more present. It has been very enriching and fulfilling to dive so completely into living life this way. Today, I feel complete with what I have had and where I have lived more so than any other place I have resided before.

I have learned that when we live to the fullest, there are no regrets in lost opportunities. It is easier to be grateful for what we have had, and also to let go and not try to hold on to things, when we fully appreciate and live out our experiences and what we have while we have it.


Leave a comment

One way to keep romance alive

Day 153
Celebrating lasting love

My husband and I have for the third time celebrated our friends’ marriage with a big party. The 1st time was when they got married the 3rd of June 1995.

The second time, when we celebrated their 10-year anniversary the 3rd of June 2005, and today 20 years later have we celebrated their love for each other once again.

Day 153dI think it is a beautiful commitment that our friends made to one other when they agreed to renew their vows with the same wedding guests every 10 years. It is for sure a great achievement to live with love year after year, and stay with one another and endure and work through tough and challenging years.

day 153cMost marriages are full of love, hopes and excitement initially. More than fifty percent eventually ends with the opposite emotions and in divorce.

What goes wrong…?

What if more couples decided to celebrate their love and anniversary in a more engaged way? Would fewer couple take each other for granted? Would more marriages be happy and survive?

Day 153e


Leave a comment

Flower Power

Day 150Spring sprung fast into flowering.

Today is the last day of May, the last day of spring, and 150 days since New Year. Time flies. With 215 days to go before 2016, we still got the time to sprout with what lie ready to blossom within us.

For many years now, I have witnessed with great fascination, appreciation, and joy the transition from winter to spring. It truly feels like a huge gift each year as I see the first flowers poke out of the ground, and the fruit trees and flowers turn into blossom. I feel incredibly lucky to live with nature all around me, and to live in a region that has four seasons.

The bursting energy of spring makes us alive; to witness all which has appeared to be dead come alive and blossom. To witness everything that has appeared to be dead come alive. Have you been in awe of it all?

Day 150bI did not use to feel the same gratitude to the wonder of the seasons and understood later that it said something about me at the time. Goethe phrased it well, “man sees the world what he carries in his heart.”

My grandmother loved pruning her rose garden and it was beyond my comprehension as a child that it could give her so much pleasure to spend her time this way. I am still not an engaged gardener but I have developed a whole new level of appreciation for flowers and things that grow and blossom. I believe that when we do not pay attention to the wonders of life, it can keep us in a rut. When we do pay attention, life becomes more real and rich. As Alice Walker said, Alice Walker expresses it well, “I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.”

If a seed or an acorn has the potential to grow and blossom, so do we!

What actions can you do to cultivate the seeds within you?

It is time to bloom!


Leave a comment

Geneva is a great place to ‘leave.’

Day 147Less than 24-hour travel-dive – my new thing.

We jokingly say, “Geneva is such a great place to leave”. And it is true that, in addition to it being ranked this year as the city with the highest quality of living in the world, Geneva has another advantage, it is in the middle of Europe, which makes it so easy to – leave – and feasible to make quick trips to other places in Europe within an hour or two, either by car, train, or plane. Since Geneva is a quiet and small city, I find that leaving this little place from time to time and get a dose of some energy and pulse is very refreshing.

It is not always feasible, nor desirable, to be away for several days when traveling. Traveling often eats up a lot of time and it is easy to loose momentum with the projects one has going. That is why I decided to only do a 20-hour trip to visit a good old friend who has taken a sabbatical year in Paris from her hectic and busy life in Stockholm. She has lived in Paris with two of her children. This was a creative and courageous decision, and the year has offered her and her children tremendous value.

I spent 20 hours only in Paris, and I feel energized and inspired by this quick dive into my friend’s world in this mesmerizing city. I arrived yesterday in time to share a lovely lunch with her and another Parisian friend. We sat outside in a courtyard and had a glass of rosé and agreed, “this is life” – to have this opportunity to sip rosé on a Wednesday in lovely sunshine and eat a delicious French meal in Paris.

It might sound like too hectic to be away only 20 hours, but we truly spent quality time together (and I worked both on my way there and back, so I did not loose any time). One of the fun highlights was that we exercised with a fantastic personal trainer in a nearby park, which was filled with lots of people. It was great fun to be amongst all the local Parisians who were running and exercising or just lying around in the grass. We ate a delicious dinner outside in the courtyard/terrace at Costes, (we Scandinavians are very fan of eating outside when possible, for obvious reasons) a beautiful restaurant with super food, interesting people and an almost mystical ambiance, (rare to find in Geneva).

I had a good night sleep in my friend’s lovely apartment and even had time for a nice chat at breakfast before taking a 40 min flight back.

Short trips can quickly give you inspiration and energy, and can easily, and maybe even preferably, be done alone.

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.” St. Augustine


Leave a comment

How sweet it is to be loved by you

Day 141How sweet it is to be loved by you

I have a lot to celebrate today and even this year.

Today May 22,nd is the 22nd wedding anniversary for my husband and I.

We have been a couple for 25 years – so a quarter of a century this year.

I have spent More than 1/2 of my life with my husband.

This year, it is also 30 years since I left Norway and became an adventurous expat.

My recipe for living in a happy, loving, and fulfilling relationship:

  1. Being real with one another
  2. Speaking our truth
  3. Sharing things with one another that feels heavy in our heart.
  4. Supporting one another.
  5. Taking responsibility for our own happiness
  6. Taking responsibility for our own growth and development
  7. Praising one another
  8. Showing and expressing gratitude towards each other
  9. Consciously giving the love our partner long for to feel loved.
  10. Understanding that intimacy and connection is of primary importance in our relationship when having a conflict and argument – not that of being right or bright.
  11. Having understood that love is a verb. Love is engaging in kind actions, which brings about feeling love for the other.
  12. Giving one another freedom to be ourself and to do our own things (from time to time).
  13. Family meals
  14. Quality one on one time almost every day.
  15. Spending a romantic weekend away at least ones per year.
  16. Dancing together
  17. Sharing positive experiences together and also sharing the family work-load
  18. Intentionally being positive and uplifting towards one another.
  19. Having the heart to say, “I am sorry.”
  20. Warm hugs, sex and physical touch.
  21. Being happy, proud and grateful for one another and for what we got.


Leave a comment

When a woman praise a man

DAy 140We all have an innate need to be seen, appreciated and make a difference.

Our work can bring us a great sense of meaning and purpose as well as recognition. At work we often engage in activities where we have strengths and talents and where we make a difference. If we are lucky, we have colleagues, or a boss, that see and appreciate the work we do, and deliver praise for the contribution we make. Many of us connect our identity with our work. We relate who we are to what we do. Perhaps men do this more so than women.

I just came back from a wonderful classical concert in The Victoria Hall in Geneva. As we all applauded the vocalist and musicians, I reflected upon that there are few professions that receive as much applause and praise as performers and professional athletes. They often bathe in praise and I’m sure they appreciate it. They also get publically criticized when their performance is not to the level or taste of the audience. Performers often suffer when judged negatively. But don’t we all…?

We all like to feel competent and strong. But that is not often the case as we return home after a day at work. Many men feel out of place when they come home, where domestic activities are being performed. Women to this day, even though it has changed radically over the past 40 years, often take on a larger share of the work at home with children, keeping the home tidy and clean and preparing meals – despite also having a profession. Since women for generations have done more of this type of work, men don’t feel as competent, and this might hold them back from engaging more, especially if they are criticized for the efforts they do make. How a woman treats her man will most likely determine his future engagement.

Many women get tired and in a bad mood when they end up with double work. This imbalance often creates conflict and distance between partners and can be one of the major obstructions to a loving connection.

What can be done to bridge the gap that often arises between couples?

What can we do to stop fighting over imbalances?

In environments where we feel valued and receive praise, we become inspired and motivated to change our behavior and actions. A woman can truly make a difference to inspire her man by giving more praise.

If both partners become more conscious of and notice all the things that each one contributes with – both outside of home and within the home – as well as recognize the qualities they each one has and give more praise, we can bridge that gap and take the relationship to the next level. When we notice and share positive things with our partner, it inspires more of the same behavior. It also makes us grateful and happy, and we feel more love towards our partner when we think about their positive characteristics.

How much praise verses criticism do women deliver to their men at home? I think that men thrive on praise and will be more inclined to take a greater share to make a difference at home, if they feel that what they do is appreciated and valued. Women may need to get used to giving more praise than what they receive, if they want to share the work at home. Women might not think this is fair and reasonable. My advice is to eat your pride and just do it. It will be so worth it!


Leave a comment

When a man loves a woman

Day 139

How much love can you give?

Have you heard the touching song “When a man loves a woman,”sung by Percy Sledge? You can listen to the song here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8raabzZNqw

The lyrics goes like this:

When a man loves a woman
Can’t keep his mind on nothing else
He’ll trade the world
For the good thing he’s found
If she’s bad he can’t see it
She can do no wrong
Turn his back on his best friend
If he put her down …

When a man loves a woman
Spend his very last dime
And trying to hold on to what he needs

He’d give up all his comforts
And sleep out in the rain
If she said that’s the way, it ought to be

When a man loves a woman
I give you everything I’ve got
Trying to hold on to your precious love
And baby baby please don’t treat me bad

When a man loves a woman
Deep down in his soul
She can bring him such misery

If she is playing him for a fool
He’s the last one to know
Loving eyes can never see

I think that many men can relate to the words in this song when they truly love their woman.

Men have a huge capacity to love their woman despite what women often think and say. They have the capacity to perhaps love a woman more than a woman can love a man. How do you like that perspective…?

So if men has this great capacity to love, why then do men fall out of love? As in the case in the story I shared yesterday, it is quite obvious. If we give our man no attention or affection, love will not and cannot grow. Men need to feel loved as much as women do, if not more – in order for them to feel satisfied and not “run away” and get busy with other things, such as work or sports, or even another woman.

Men often feel it is complicated to love a woman… and they often fall out of love with their woman because she has changed and become different in the relationship.

Too many women forget to love and show love towards their men, as they are so busy doing everything they “think” is essential… especially after having children. This is partly because mothers are genetically wired to take on the responsibilities to love and nurture their children. Mothers’ love for their children often satisfies women need for love, while their children are young. But then once the children are more independent, they wonder where their man went…?

Well he got busy doing other things….

But children are not the only “obstacle” to loving acts towards their man. When the initial romantic stage is over, and women do not know how to love deeper, they can exchange their need for love by investing their time at work or with friends instead with their man.

Many men rely on their women only, to fulfill their need of being loved. They do not have the deep connection with their male friends that women have with their girlfriends. Sadly, men do not have the same capacity to find love somewhere else, and therefore can feel very lonely and sad in their relationship with their woman.

Women often feel that their children’s and friends’ love fill them up, and in that case they do not need as much love from their man…, which makes them more susceptible to not be so loving towards their man.

I believe that most women do not know how to love a man. If you are a woman reading this, you probably are reacting strongly now…, because you feel that it is just the opposite, that your man does not know how to love you. That might be true as well, but I think that women, who have generally a greater ability to sense their feelings and put words to them, also have a greater capacity than men to understand their man and find a way to make him feel loved.

If it really is so that a man that feels loved will do anything for their woman… what more then can you do to love him?